image of a couple wondering how to make up after a fight

Arguing or fighting in a relationship can be tough. We try so hard most of the time to not upset our partner, but inevitably there will be times when we hurt or disappoint them. There will also be times when your partner hurts or disappoints you- we are human, and messing up is part of the human experience. But what do we do after the fight? What does the coming back together process look like? How do we get back to normal?

Read on for three suggestions on how to make up after a fight.

  1. Manage expectations. Both you and your partner will still be feeling the side effects of this fight or argument for a little bit. Different people process things at different speeds and at different levels, so the two of you might be coming back together AND either you or your partner are still holding some strong feelings. That’s OK! Managing expectations helps us to see both ourselves and our partner as humans having a human experience. You don’t have to wait until all the big feelings have subsided to reconnect.
  2. Communicate what you need. And ask your partner what they need. Making up after a fight is a good opportunity to reestablish what each partner needs in the reconnection process. Sometimes a partner needs a little bit more time and space. Sometimes a partner needs more connection. The key is in finding where your needs and your partner’s needs overlap so both of you can get a little bit of what helps you reconnect after an argument.
  3. Make a plan for reconnection. Making intentional time for reconnection can help manage expectations and might be a good overlap of your and your partner’s needs. This can give someone with more anxious tendencies a specific timeline for when they can feel that reconnection with their partner. This can also let those who are more avoidant have a specific timeline to allow their own processing to happen. This plan should be filled with what each of you wants and needs to reconnect.

There isn’t a blanket answer for how to make up after a fight. The answers depend on you and your own attachment styles and needs, as well as your partner’s. It’s important to ask questions to your partner regarding what they need or how they would like to reconnect after a fight, while also asking and answering the same questions for yourself. And really listen, listening to hear versus listening to respond is a great way to show curiosity towards your partner, and hopefully help you figure out the best way for the two of you to make up after fight.

As always, if you would like some help navigating a rough spot in your relationship, our relationship coaches can help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out – you don’t have to do this alone!